Knitting in the dark is not a weird or rare as you might think. Knitters can be creatures of efficiency and sitting in the dark watching a movie or a concert, or riding home in the passenger seat while you literally do nothing else with your body but age is maddening.
If you are a restless person (like me) or a crafter who likes a challenge (like me), then knitting in the dark is absolutely something you should try.
Tip #1: Easy Does It
Set yourself up for success by choosing a simple project. I know you’re the master of colorwork and cables, but this is stockinette-in-the-round time. Been thinking about making a sweater but cringe at the thought of all that plain knitting? This is the perfect marriage of entertainment and industry. My favorite in-the-dark knitting is the leg or foot of a simple sock.
Tip #2: Practice at Home
Practice at home with the lights on and try not to look while you watch a movie. Feel the stitches in your hands and really get to know what your stitches feel like when they right and when they are wrong. Your hands can tell you A LOT.
Then take it up a notch by watching a subtitled movie or turning off the lights. See how well you do at not looking, at noticing with your hands if there are any mistakes, at enjoying the movie.
sub: Tip #3: Choose Needles Wisely
Leave your long, clicky, shiny aluminum needles at home. And absolutely no light up needles if you’re at an event — those things are really bright! Consider using circular needles instead of straights or double pointed needles. I’m old school and like my DPNs, but I’ve had to put down a project more than once for the remainder of a show because I dropped a needle.
Tip #4: Roll with the Problems
I hope you’re comfortable fixing your knitting because you will drop stitches occasionally, or mix up your knits and purls if you’ve ignored tip #1 and are doing ribbing. I’ve made all of these mistakes. Sometimes it possible to fix them by feel; sometimes you’re only 15 minutes into the movie and you nip out to the hallway to get back on track. Sometimes you don’t notice until the show is over and the lights come on; sometimes you just tuck the misbehaving wool into your bag and put your head on your neighbor’s shoulder.
I get so much knitting done in the dark that the mistakes are a negligible issue.
Tip #5: Don’t Overdo It
You probably don’t knit for two hours straight on the regular, so put your project down if your hands start to ache. I like to take breaks and hold hands with my husband. Awww! By the way, this is also a great way to warm up your hands if they’re cold.
Tip #6: Know the Venue
Whenever you knit in public, it’s important to consider the venue and other attendees. In recent months, I’ve knit in the dark during a movie (Star Wars: The Last Jedi), a small folk music concert (dropped a needle right after intermission), and in the car while my husband drove us home from holiday gatherings. All of these were fairly casual.
At a more formal setting, like going to a theatrical production, I bring my knitting and I might knit before the show starts and during intermission, but not during the show. A friend told me she doesn’t knit in the car because it’s distracting to her husband. Tragic! But these are important considerations.
Do you like to knit in the dark? Have any funny stories? Share in the comments!